Stopping Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross could prove key to Newcastle getting a positive result when they face the Seagulls on Saturday based on his latest display.
The 28-year-old Brighton midfielder was unlucky not to help his side rack up all three points against Burnley at the weekend as he ran the show.
Gross made more key passes than anyone in that game, he registered six, and made 42 passes in the opposition’s half in order to try and put the Seagulls on the front foot. (Source: BBC)
The German midfielder also gained possession on 12 separate occasions during the match, more than any other player, in order to show what a handful he was even when not on the ball.
It’s also worth noting that five of Gross’ six key passes were crosses and considering he started the game as an attacking midfielder on Saturday, it shows how the Magpies’ defence needs to keep a close eye on him as he will pop up in different positions.
However, it also shows that if the Magpies stop Gross, then it could cut off Brighton’s supply line and see the likes of Glenn Murray and Neal Maupay struggle to have opportunities carved out for them.
Which in turn, would make it easier for Steve Bruce’s side to rack up a positive result.
Gross may not have registered an assist or scored a goal to highlight his efforts against Burnley, he has only managed 10 assists and 11 goals across his 69 career outings in the Premier League, but he clearly is the one capable of pulling the strings for Graham Potter’s side.
The Magpies’ clash with Brighton could prove to be a crucial one, the two sides are currently separated by only one point and are in the bottom half of the table, so it’s important Bruce’s side get maximum points when the teams meet at St James Park on Saturday.